Denying the Virus, Denying Trump’s Defeat
Author: Greg Valliere
December 9, 2020
THE UNITED STATES is at a breaking point, refusing to lock down despite soaring fatalities. We understand that hard-working business owners face financial ruin; it isn’t fair — Covid isn’t fair.
A REBELLION IS GROWING, from Staten Island NY to Orange County CA. Restaurant owners are defying orders to shut down, and the police in many jurisdictions will not enforce orders from governors. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s directives have little credibility; he joined lobbyists at the luxurious French Laundry restaurant, making a mockery of social distancing.
THIS IS NOT JUST AN AMERICAN PROBLEM: Defiance of the law is prevalent in Manchester, England, and in Germany and much of the world. People are giving up, just as vaccines offer hope.
AS FATALITIES SURGE, we envision a self-quarantine by people who are terrified after watching the evening news, which is reporting that fatalities in the U.S. could hit 4,000 a day by January. The deniers are loud and angry; they may dominate Idaho, but most Americans will shy away from shopping malls and airplanes. Weak first quarter GDP seems likely.
THE SURGING VIRUS improves chances of passing a relief bill, which looks more likely after yesterday’s confusing developments. The White House apparently has signed off on a bill costing a little more than $900 billion — a major development. But Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wants stimulus checks of $600 per individual, not an extension of unemployment benefits. He will accept some aid for state and local governments.
DEMOCRATS WERE LUKEWARM, but stimulus checks are now on the table — supported by Bernie Sanders and the left, and the increasingly powerful Sen. Josh Hawley and the right. Significantly, Mitch McConnell apparently has signed off on the dollar amount, while indicating he could wait until 2021 to win liability protection for firms that face Covid-related lawsuits.
IT WILL TAKE SEVERAL DAYS before a relief bill comes into focus; we still think it will pass before lawmakers leave town on Dec. 18 or 19.
IN THE MEANTIME, ANOTHER FORM OF DENIALISM has become increasingly virulent. Most Republicans in this city won’t state the obvious — Donald Trump lost the election. Perhaps that will change after next Monday’s official Electoral College vote, but it appears that the president’s rhetoric has convinced his angry supporters that the election was rigged.
WITH A MAJORITY OF REPUBLICAN VOTERS stating adamantly that Trump won, nothing will change their denial of a Biden presidency. Trump’s lawsuits have been laughed out of courts, but he will not relent because Trump will run for president again — and the deniers have already made him the favorite to win the GOP nomination in 2024.
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